We are grateful to Frances Stenlake for her assistance in preparing this catalogue entry.
Bevan spent the summers of 1912, 1913 and 1915 at Applehayes, the home of Harold Bertram Harrison who held open house for Camden Town painters at that time. Situated near Clayhiden in the Blackdown hills, close to the Devon-Somerset border, the estate comprised three hundred acres and four farms.
The present work shows Shepherd's Villa at the bottom of Applehayes lane which was occupied at that time by Harold Harrison's groom, Frank Dunn. Four other oil paintings of the cottage by Bevan are known: Dunn's Cottage (1915; Leeds City Art Galleries), Haze over the valley or Dunn's Cottage (circa 1913; Tate Gallery, London), A Devonshire Valley (circa 1913; Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter) and The Little Oak Tree or Back of Dunn's Cottage (1915; King George VI Gallery, South Africa). The present composition is identical to the picture in the collection of Leeds except that the latter includes a figure in the foreground (see F. Stenlake, From Cuckfield To Camden Town, the story of artist Robert Bevan, Cuckfield Museum, 1999, pp. 42-43).